Despite being one of the newer airlines at Changi Airport, STARLUX Airlines has established itself as one of the best ways to fly to Taiwan. 

The carrier only started international flights here in 2021. But since 1 June 2023, for its daily flights between Singapore and Taipei, STARLUX has been using an Airbus A350-900, featuring the only First Class seats flying between the two cities. 

Read on to learn what to expect if you’re lucky enough to find yourself on these exclusive seats!

What-lux? A brief introduction to STARLUX Airlines

Haven’t heard of STARLUX before? You’re not alone – the airline only started flying relatively recently, when its first flights from Taipei took place in January 2020. This was several years after it was founded by the former chairman of fellow Taiwanese airline EVA Air, Chang Kuo-Wei.

Positioning itself as a boutique airline offering quality service on state-of-the-art aircraft, STARLUX currently flies from its home hub of Taipei to destinations throughout East and Southeast Asia, as well as Los Angeles in the US. Fun fact – founder Chang is a licensed pilot who recently captained the inaugural flight from Taipei to Los Angeles.

In September 2021, STARLUX began flights to Changi Airport Singapore, and by May 2023, was operating these daily flights with wide-body (i.e. its interior is equipped with two aisles) A330neo planes, with seats available in both economy and business class.

Fantastic First Class on the awesome A350

first-class air travel, starlux airlines, changi airport singapore first-class air travel, starlux airlines, changi airport singapore

The STARLUX A350-900 is a relative newcomer to Changi Airport, only having started direct flights in Singapore from 1 June 2023.

On 1 June 2023, STARLUX began flying between Taipei and Singapore with its top-of-the-line A350-900 aircraft, adding First and Premium Economy Classes into the mix. Notably, this makes STARLUX the only airline to operate an ultra-premium First Class cabin between Singapore and Taiwan. 

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High privacy walls help to separate the First Class seats from the rest of the Business Class cabin on STARLUX Airlines.

While physically in the same cabin space as Business Class, the four First Class seats are each surrounded by high walls and a sliding door, providing their occupants with cocoon-like privacy. The 1-2-1 reverse-herringbone configuration of the seats also ensures that each passenger can access an aisle directly without having to climb over a seatmate.

Each First Class ‘cocoon’ sports a quilted leather seat in a grey/rose gold colour scheme that whispers luxury. The seat reclines to a fully-flat bed featuring a ‘zero gravity’ mode designed to lower blood pressure, as well as a massage function to loosen those knots in your back. A truly massive 81cm-wide 4K-resolution screen is also available for all your in-flight entertainment needs on STARLUX. Talk about high-tech electronic gadgets!

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Passengers can peruse the onboard dining menus via their massive inflight entertainment screens. There is a separate, printed drinks menu on STARLUX Airlines.

Once in the air, the luxury continues with a sumptuous in-flight dining selection of gourmet meals. Choose from Asian and international menus featuring tantalising options like pan-seared halibut, beef tenderloin in XO sauce, and dried scallop chicken soup. 

And if you’re feeling thirsty, take your pick of the beverages from the personal minibar installed at each seat, including bougie Voss and Orezza mineral waters. Or simply ask one of the friendly flight attendants for your snack or beverage of choice.

first class service, personal minibar, starlux airlines first class service, personal minibar, starlux airlines

Hydration is within each First Class passenger’s easy reach, thanks to their personal minibar.

Be pampered on the ground as well

But even before you fly, the STARLUX First Class experience already begins as soon as you check in for your flight. 

As a STARLUX First Class passenger departing from Changi Airport, you’ll be able to use the exclusive SATS Premium Check-in Lounge at Terminal 1 for a faster and more private check-in experience. 

Curious about other check-in lounges available at Changi Airport ? Check out our guide to airport lounges in Singapore.

Don’t expect the first-class service to stop once you’re past immigration. You’ll be offered the use of a buggy to bring you to the Terminal 1 Marhaba Lounge, and then to your gate, in speed and style.  

Conversely, if you’re arriving in Changi on First Class, there’ll be someone to usher you through Changi’s arrival procedures upon your disembarkation from your flight. 

You can live it up in Business Class too

If first-class air travel isn’t quite within your budget, you’ll be pleased to know that Starlux’s Business Class is no slouch either. Except for the finishes, the actual seats are fundamentally identical to those in First Class, featuring the same ‘zero gravity’ mode and ability to be fully reclined. You’ll also get a door at your seat for enhanced privacy, though it’s not as high as the one in First Class. Similarly, your in-flight entertainment screen will not be as large as the one in First Class, but it’ll still sport a respectable size of 61cm with the same 4K resolution. Before your flight out of Changi, you can also enjoy the SATS Premier Lounge at Terminal 1, instead of the Marhaba Lounge.

Tips to enjoy STARLUX’s premium classes

Unfortunately, the only practical way you can jet off to Taipei in style in STARLUX’s First and Business Class cabin right now is to fork out the cash. Indicative costs for a Singapore-Taipei return trip are currently around S$4,000 and up for First Class, and around S$2,000 for Business Class.

Eventually, if you fly STARLUX often enough, you can accumulate enough miles in its frequent flyer programme, COSMILE, to redeem award tickets for these premium class seats. At the moment, STARLUX doesn’t partner with any banks in Singapore to allow credit card point redemptions for COSMILEs, so you’ll need to take quite a few paid-for STARLUX flights to redeem one ‘free’ award flight!

However, there is hope for aspiring travel hackers – in April 2023, STARLUX announced a partnership with US-based Alaska Airlines, which will eventually allow travellers to redeem Alaska miles for flights on STARLUX, including in Business Class (but not in First Class). While the redemption rates have not been published, Alaska miles can be quite easily obtained by Singapore-based travellers, thanks to the frequent miles sales that Alaska runs, and could potentially be a significantly easier way to experience STARLUX’s Business Class.

A new star has arrived

If you want to travel to Taiwan in ultimate luxury, then STARLUX’s First Class seat is for you. 

Arrive in Taipei feeling relaxed and pampered. Once there, check out the different Taiwan attractions for kids and adults alike for some inspiration on the things to see and do!

And if the 5h-long journey to Taipei is too short for you to enjoy the first class amenities and service, you can continue on across the Pacific to Los Angeles, STARLUX’s sole long-haul destination. You’ll even receive additional goodies like a well-stocked amenity kit (in both Business and First Classes) and caviar service (in First Class only) on these longer flights. Something to add to your travel bucket list perhaps?

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WiFi routers, travel insurance, attraction tickets and more!
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Best time to visit
The best time to visit Taipei, Taiwan is typically during fall (October to December), when the weather is cooler and less rainy, making it an ideal time for outdoor activities and sightseeing. Spring (March to May) is also a pleasant time to visit with mild weather, though there can be occasional rain showers.

The official currency of Taipei is New Taiwan Dollar (TWD). You can buy currencies at real-time exchange rates and collect your currencies at Changi Airport using Changi Recommends FX

The MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) system in Taipei is very efficient, clean, and English-friendly, making it an excellent way to travel around within the city. The Taiwan High-Speed Rail is also a great option for travel between major cities on the west coast, such as Taipei, Taichung, Tainan, and Kaohsiung. It can reach speeds of up to 300 km/h, significantly reducing travel time.

City buses are common in Taipei, with intercity buses taking you to and from various parts of the country, including places not served by train services. Alternatively, consider Taipei’s public bike-sharing, particularly where there are dedicated bike paths.

Book Now
There are several flights daily from Changi Airport in Singapore to Taipei. Book your holiday now!


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